The huge acquisition of Hull-headquartered CarSupermarket helped international used car dealership entity Aramis Group’s revenues grow more than 53.5 per cent.
Annual results reveal costs of £35.7 million related to the buy-out, with £24.5 million of stock taken on by the French multinational, part of Stellantis – parent company to a large portfolio of automotive brands including Vauxhall and Peugeot.
CarSupermarket – which also traded as Motor Depot – was launched 20 years ago by the Wilkinson family, initially in Hull’s Clarence Street, adding Hessle in 2005. From 2013 onwards it embarked on a major expansion and now has dealerships in Barnsley, Birmingham, Grimsby, Hessle, Hull, Lincoln, Newcastle, Preston, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Stoke and Worksop, as well as a major online presence.
More than 400 staff are employed, with a substantial head office function in Hessle and preparation centres in Goole and Hull. In the year prior to the acquisition it turned over £226 million. The deal was agreed in March, completing in June.
Aramis said it is “actively working on pursuing its European expansion through acquisitions, taking advantage of its strong track-record in integrating new countries”. CarSupermarket followed the additions of Clicars in Spain in 2017 and Cardoen in Belgium in 2018.
The “excellent momentum in refurbished car sales” – partly due to chip shortages stalling new model delivery – contributed to a 37 per cent increase in sales volumes for Aramis, with values holding high due to constrained supply.
Customer satisfaction and experience was also credited in the annual report, against the backdrop of “a market context marked by a sharp decline in new car production”.
In a joint statement accompanying the results to September 30, Nicolas Chartier and Guillaume Paoli, co-founders of Aramis Group, said: “In 2021, Aramis Group achieved an exceptional performance, despite the pandemic and the automotive market context, largely exceeding its growth objectives.
“The excellent performance of its refurbished used car business has enabled it to record strong growth in all its geographies. The group’s investments in marketing and in its technological platform have also paid off, with more than 73 million visits recorded this year on its websites. 2021 was also marked by the group’s continued European expansion with the acquisition in March of CarSupermarket in the United Kingdom. In an automotive market affected by significant pressure on new vehicles in Europe, the group has demonstrated its agility in vehicles supply, which it has been able to increase and diversify in all its geographies.
“In 2022, this dynamic will accelerate further, driven by the development of refurbishment capacities with the planned opening of two new centres, in addition to the recent opening of the Antwerp centre.
“Aramis Group is therefore looking forward to 2022 with confidence, convinced that it is perfectly positioned to seize all growth opportunities and thus be the preferred platform for Europeans looking for a refurbished used vehicle.”
A strong positive cash position was outlined following a successful share offering in the summer, which brought in more than £200 million, wiping out debts and covering CarSupermarket’s purchase, while leaving it with a healthy cashflow.
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